7 Windows 8 Tips to Make Better Use of Dual Monitors

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Who doesn’t love the dual-monitor setup on your work desk? With Windows 8, you will probably love it even more. The added new dual-monitor features make a use of Windows 8 on a non-touch screen equipped desktop truly enjoyable.

Here are 7 tips that you must know when using Windows 8 with 2 or more screens.

Tip 1: show different wallpaper on each monitor

Windows 8 Dual Screen - different wallpaper

When selecting a personalization theme, Windows 8 is smart enough knowing to put a different wallpapers on each monitor. You can also specifically pick which pictures showing on which screen.

In Desktop Background window, right click the picture and choose which monitor to show off.

Windows 8 Dual Screen - different wallpaper #2

What’s even more intelligent is that if the dual-monitor setup that consists of two different size of screen windows 8 automatically selects the best suited images for each size of monitor.

Tip 2: Span the wallpaper across all monitors

Windows 7 doesn’t have this nice feature, but you can work around it with tips like this and this. With Windows 8, this is supported natively.

Simply pick a picture that is wide enough to cover both monitors, and choose Span in Desktop Background window.

windows 8 Dual Screen - Span Wallpaper

Tip 3: Taskbar natively across all monitors

The option “Show taskbar on all displays” is enabled by default, with 3 options to choose from. You can alter them right in Taskbar Properties screen (right click the taskbar and choose properties).

Windows 8 Dual Screen - taskbar options

You can

  • by default, show your taskbar buttons on all taskbars;
  • show taskbar buttons on the taskbar where the windows is open; or
  • show taskbar buttons on main taskbar and taskbar where window is open.

Tip 4: Launch Start Screen on any monitor

Windows 8 Dual Screen - Start screen and desktop

You can bring up the Start screen on any monitor through the bottom left corner or the Charm bar. Pressing the Windows key launches the Start screen on the last monitor where the Start screen shows.

Tip 5: Switch Windows 8 App to any monitor

Simply move your cursor to the up left corner of any monitor to bring up the App Switch List and switch the app from there on the same monitor.

Tip 6: Drag and drop

Move your mouse to the top edge of your app, drag and drop it across monitors. This nice useful feature works for both full screen and snapped apps. For desktop apps, just simply drag the top window frame between monitors.

Tip 7: Keyboard shortcuts

2 new keyboard shortcuts to move Windows 8 apps across monitors:

Win + Pg Up & Win + Pg Down

The Win + Arrow and Win + Shift + Arrow still continue to work on desktop apps for snapping and moving desktop windows across monitors.

Conclusion

Windows 8 was just an enhanced version of Windows 7 to me until I hooked up a second monitor to it. I can now have one Windows 8 on one monitor and my main desktop on another. With app snapping, I can have 2 apps running side-by-side on one screen while still keeping my desktop apps running on another. Well, A tri-monitor setup seems to be even better so that I can one dedicate to Windows 8 apps with other two accommodating all my desktop apps.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. How can I get it to act like windows 7 did and have the same wallpaper on both desktops? The way it is now with auto colour my windows colours half the time are the colour to match my second monitor which is my HDTV and is usually off which ruins the auto colour match feature.

    • Good question. It seems that disabling the slideshow (selecting one picture as the background) is the only option you have. Or maybe select SPAN if you have multiple high definition wide screen pictures.

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